Tag Archives: ranger

Smokin’ Seventeen: A Stephanie Plum Novel

By Janet Evanovich

**Review may contain SPOILERS**

I love this series. It is completely different from almost anything else that I avidly read. A friend of my mom’s kept telling me about these books (at that time, there was only seven books out). I kept saying, “Yeah, yeah, if I get time’” or “I’m already reading too many series books as it is.” Plus, I didn’t like his normal reading preference, so I was skeptical about these books. Not to mention, they look like they are colored by highlighters. I mean, you could practically see these books from space, that’s how bright the covers are.

So, he bought me the first two books….and I bought the next five within days. That’s how good they are. No vampires or werewolves in these books, these are strictly reality (well, mostly reality) based books. They are feel good books. I always find myself smiling and actually laughing out loud during parts of these books.

Stephanie Plum is a bail bonds enforcement agent (think Dog the Bounty Hunter’s wife, only with a smaller chest, bigger hair, and a lot less skill). That’s Stephanie. And she has a sidekick named Lula. Who is a retired ho, and she tells you about it all the time. She is a big black woman who tries to fit into petite woman clothing, mostly spandex and animal printed, or very neon. She is constantly on some fad diet or another, which is completely hilarious. A few books back she was on the meat only diet and had a whole bag of bacon….and a trail of dogs following her everywhere.

Not only is Stephanie a so-so agent, her ability to catch the bail jumpers is more luck then anything, but she has two of the hottest guys in Trenton, New Jersey just waiting for her. I like Morelli, he is a Trenton plain clothes cop and used to be a major womanizer in his youth and has grown up, mostly. But, O-M-G Ranger? He has my vote the whole way. He is dark and Latino and he owns his own firm, skirts the law, has a fleet of unending black expensive cars, and uses Bulgari Green. Yum. That’s all I can say about him. He makes reading the books very exciting.

Anyways, this book starts out with them finding a body where the bail bonds office used to be (it got blown up in the last book). Lots of things tend to blow up around Stephanie, mostly cars. Sometimes houses. Ranger’s men have betting pools every time Ranger gives Stephanie a car to see how long it lasts. It’s usually not long.

So, I might have fibbed a little bit at the beginning of this review about the “no vampires” part. This book has one. Or at least an old man who thinks he’s one. He has failed to show for his court date so Stephanie has to go and get him. When she and Lula get there, he won’t come out because the sun is still up. At first, they leave and go talk to Stephanie’s grandmother who lives with Stephanie’s parents not to far away, because Grandma Mazur knows pretty much everything about everyone and is a major source of comedy to me. She confirms that the guy thinks he’s a vampire and that he never comes out when the sun is up. Not to be deterred, Stephanie and Lula return to the house and Stephanie goes around back and let herself into his place with a key that was left above the door. She cuffs him, lets Lula in and the begin to take him out when the sun hits him he starts screaming and Lula starts tripping out, next thing he is sucking on her neck, only his teeth are dentures and he doesn’t have them in. He gets away, and Lula has a hickey to show for it. The entire book she is tripping out about vampire cooties and asking if her teeth are growing bigger because she might be turning into a vampire.

Meanwhile, Stephanie’s mom is trying to hook her up with this guy named Dave that went to school with Stephanie years ago. And man, this guy doesn’t take hints well. After like two or three tries to be nice but telling Dave that not only is she not interested, she has two boyfriends already and they both carry guns, she winds up breaking his nose with a hair dryer! He totally deserved it though!

Then Bella, Morelli’s grandmother is a crazy old bat, she talks about giving people the eye and everyone is afraid of her. There are all kinds of stories about her casting spells on people and bad things happening to them. Well, in this book, it’s Stephanie’s turn to experience the eye. Bella doesn’t like Stephanie, she calls her all kinds of names because Morelli is her favorite grandchild and Stephanie is corrupting him and not marrying him, plus her grandmother Mazur is not on Bella’s list of favorite people.

More bodies turn up at the former site of the bail bonds office. And one with a note saying “For Stephanie”. To top it off, a crazy guy with a vendetta just got released from jail and wants to kill her. This is not her week.

If you are looking for a book (or series of books) that will keep you laughing, this is definitely a series for you. I always look forward to them. Start with “One for the Money”. Make sure to read them in order (including the in between the numbers books) or else some jokes won’t make as much sense.

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Filed under Drama/Suspense